We arrived in Marathon on Wednesday, February18th. We anchored in Boot Key Harbor for two days before we were given a mooring ball for our stay here. There are so many boats (sail & trawlers) here. It is a pretty sight at night with all the anchor lights on. It looks like stars in the sky. There are probably more than 300 boats on moorings, not counting the ones that are anchored. Nelson went to the Marina to check us in after we got anchored and found out that they were having a potluck dinner that night. I quickly threw a salad together to carry and we went in on the dinghy. There were dinghies everywhere. However, they are equipped to handle them here. They have many floating dinghy docks here. We had a delicious dinner and met a lot of nice and friendly people. Some of whom we had seen before in St. Mary’s at Thanksgiving. Thursday and Friday, we spent time getting laundry done and bringing water back to the boat as our tanks were getting very low. Nelson has bought several five gallon water jugs and we already had an eight gallon one on the boat. He takes the empty ones to the marina fills them and brings them back to the boat and then we pour them into our water tanks. This is much easier when you can steer the sailboat to the docks and fill the tanks with a hose. With all the traffic of dinghies here, it is almost impossible to get to the water hose with the sailboat. But, we did do it Saturday. Our sewage tank was full and we had to take the boat over to have a pump out as they will not come to your boat on the weekends. Our regular pump out date is not until Wednesdays and we could not make it until then. They have two pump out boats that come to your boat and pump out your tank once a week. We had to have a lot of help to get the boat out of the small area and back into the regular harbor as the wind was not in our favor. But, we made it without hitting another boat or dock.
Saturday, we and several others from our harbor walked a mile down to the Publix bus stop and caught a bus to take us to the Boaters Flea market in Islamorada which was about a 45 minute ride from here. We had a great time and yes, spent some money, but not a lot. On Sunday, we took the bus south to the government base near Key West to visit our friends Bud & Brenda from Jordan Creek, NC. They are keeping their sailboat here for a year and drive down very often. We enjoyed getting to see them. We drove their car to Key West where we found a neat little Bar & Grill, called, Hog Fish and had a delicious shrimp lunch. There was a chartered fishing boat that came in as we were leaving the grill and they had caught about 12 large containers of red snapper. Boy, did they look good!
Today, Nelson and Ray, a friend who has the same boat as we, are putting new mast lights on both boats. Nelson is smaller, so he is getting a ride up the mast. Ray is doing the hard labor by wrenching Nelson up to the top of the mast. Ours is done, and now Nelson is at the top of Ray’s mast. I know he will be glad to get finished as the wind is blowing about l0 knots here today. The winds makes it a bit chilly but not cold here today. We are really enjoying our stay here and do not know just when we will leave to go west. We are planning a dive trip with Bud and Brenda one day this week to the Dry Tortugas on a Catamaran sailing vessel. We haven’t made our reservations yet because we are waiting to see which day the wind will not be blowing very hard. This will cost us extra money, but Bud can get us a reduce rate since he is retired military. We are excited to do this as we had talked about going there with our boat but time would not allow it.
Take care and know that we are still enjoying our trip very much and also like keeping you informed of our adventures but sometimes, we are just too busy to stop and use the computer. We are looking forward to seeing everyone when we return.
Nelson & Ondra